Oprah is Back

Andy Cohen critiques Oprah's final season opener as both a fan and a producer.

I have been watching that damn Oprah show since the day it started in 1986 (freshman in college), and it hit me watching the premiere late last night that I've probably seen 80 percent -- or more -- of the shows she's done in her 25 years.

Yesterday's season premiere was unneeded proof that Oprah is unquestionably the most consistently well-produced show in the history of talk. Her surprises are the best (I actually liked the women driving onstage thinking they were parking their van in a garage better than the Australia mayhem). Her power over her audience to do good is bulletproof (a woman who got inspired by John Travolta's freaking 50th birthday toast celebrating O as a savior of humanity was so inspired she went and built a house in Africa for Orphans), and nothing compares with her ability to wrangle celebrities into doing unfathomable things (Paul Simon wrote a beautiful song celebrating her 25 years).

I tend to watch Oprah as both a rabid fan (I am) and as a TV producer, so I often have a little bit of skepticism about the process, but I am usually won over by the end of each episode. Two things I keep in mind as a student of the show are that Oprah is a good actress, and that she doesn't like to be touched so much by the red pantsuit ladies. That Don Johnson "surprise" yesterday didn't read like a surprise to me, by the way. She was doing her good acting. (I think the Paul Simon thing WAS a surprise.) Re: the touching, just watch her body language with the peeps. Oh and after 25 years of being poked and pawed at, I can't say I blame the lady.

It is going to be a BIG season. I am obsessed.


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